CurrencyDeliveryPolandLanguageGunfire PolskaGunfire in EnglishGunfire en FranceGunfire en EspañaGunfire ​​in NederlandGunfire in Czech

Is airsoft legal?


More than one military enthusiast before buying his first airsoft gun has certainly wondered whether such gun is 100% legal. In the context of European law, the question of the legality of airsoft guns is a debatable topic. The various regulations on firearms and similar products (such as airguns) mean that our favorite replicas are treated differently in different countries. Are they legal, or do they pose a threat to public safety, according to some? Before deciding to purchase an airsoft gun, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the current laws in your country. In this article, we will try to answer the question of whether airsoft guns are legal in Europe and what are the most common regulations regarding their possession, sale and use.

Is it legal to have an airsoft gun?

Airsoft guns are usually faithful counterparts of real firearms, made on a scale of 1:1. Although they have no combat value, outsiders can easily mistake such a replica for an original. On the market you will find plenty of models of airsoft guns, which by their appearance are deceptively similar to real pistols and assault rifles. How do they differ from firearms? First of all, the ammunition used and the method of operation. The replica is powered by plastic BB’s with a diameter of +/- 6mm, the firing of which uses a simple spring-powered system, gas system (gas blow back) or electric (AEG).

So let's move on to the most important question. Are these types of replicas legal? If we would like to answer such a question in one sentence, it would be - it depends.

Airsoft guns in Poland and in European countries are legal, but depending on the specific country, their possession, purchase and the possibility of using them in airsoft games may be regulated by local laws. And even if certain aspects are not regulated by government regulations (as in Poland, for example), universal rules used by local airsoft communities should be followed. Among either group, the most common rules are:

  • Age of the user – in most countries, people under the age of 18 are allowed to use airsoft replicas only under the supervision of an adult. Sometimes a player younger in age is allowed to participate, but only under the supervision of a legal guardian.
  • Permits and registrations – In some countries, such as the UK and Spain, it is necessary to register airsoft replicas and sometimes even have a special permit.
  • Marking – In some countries, such as Portugal, replicas must be clearly marked to distinguish them from real weapons.
  • Transportation – When transporting airsoft replicas, it is recommended that they be stowed in a way that prevents them from being visible and accessible to outsiders. Preferably in a dedicated bag or guncase.
  • Use – Shooting with airsoft replicas is allowed only in areas designated for this purpose - specially designated airsoft game areas, shooting ranges, arenas.

Airsoft regulations in European countries

Let's now look in a little more detail at what these regulations look like in several European countries where airsoft is most popular.


Airsoft guns and the airsoft itself are legal. The law makes no distinction between airsoft guns and airguns, so the only requirement is that they must not exceed 17 J of muzzle energy, which would qualify them as firearms. The replica does not require additional markings such as an orange barrel tip. The purchase age for an airsoft gun is 18, but there are no age restrictions on its use, other than local regulations.

Czech Republic

Airsoft guns are regulated in the same way as other airgun rifles in the Czech Republic. Anyone over the age of 18 can purchase, store and carry airsoft guns. Carrying in public places is only possible in a concealed manner


Airsoft guns are not treated as firearms, but as “recreational firearm replica”. Its muzzle energy must not exceed 1.3J (equivalent to a muzzle velocity of 374 FPS with 0.2g balls). The minimum age for the purchase and use of these replicas is 18, but can drop to 16 if written parental consent is given. In order to purchase and use airsoft guns, a person must be a member of APD - Sport Promotion Association. In addition, airsoft guns must be painted fluorescent yellow or fluorescent red according to the following criteria:

  • Long replicas (with an overall length of more than 60 cm and a barrel of more than 30 cm) - painted at a distance of 10 cm from the end of the barrel and 100% of the flask.
  • Short replicas (with an overall length of less than 60 cm or a barrel of less than 30 cm) - painted to a distance of 5 cm from the end of the barrel and 100% of the grip.


Players must comply with the requirements of their municipal authorities, which vary from city to city. Some, for example, require players to present a criminal record, pass a psychological exam (such as for a firearms permit), have the replica marked with serial numbers by a certified gunsmith, and verify that the serial numbers match those reported. It is legal to buy, own and sell airsoft guns and accessories.

The Netherlands

Those wishing to own an airsoft gun or participate in airsoft games must be registered with a certified airsoft organization, such as the Dutch Airsoft Sports Association (NABV). Participation in games for non-association members is allowed, but NABV must record the player's personal information, which usually happens when registering at commercial airsoft fields. To become a member of NABV, a person must pass police verification and have no criminal record in the past eight years. As of April 1, 2019, new regulations and limits have been introduced to improve safety, making replicas measured in joules instead of FPS, with BB’s weighing at least 0.3g instead of 0.2g.


Transporting replicas in public places is prohibited. They must be secured, for example, in a gunbag or case. Permission of the landowner is required to play airsoft on any land. Orange color at the end of the barrel is not required. Minors (under 18) may only buy airsoft replicas with a power of less than 0.08 J. An airsoft gun can have a maximum muzzle energy of 2J (464 FPS on 0.2g BB’s), otherwise they are not considered airsoft guns, but firearms, and their owners must then comply with French gun laws.


Airsoft guns with an energy of less than 0.5 J are considered toys and can be used by people over the age of 14. Some stores require the presence of a legal guardian and their consent when purchasing such replicas. Airsoft guns with muzzle energy between 0.5 and 7.5 J are treated as airguns, and the minimum age for their purchase and use is 18. Such replicas must have a special marking, the so-called “F in pentagram,” and must not have a full auto fire mode, otherwise it is illegal to own them. Possession of laser indicators and tactical flashlights mounted on replicas is illegal.


Airsoft guns with muzzle energy equal to or less than one joule are allowed. By law, airsoft guns are not classified as firearms, but as toys. Online purchase and mail order are legal and unrestricted. No permit or registration is required. There is no mandatory minimum age to purchase and use airsoft guns. The Italian Ministry of the Interior only recommends that their sale be limited to those over 18 or 14 accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The red tip must be present on the barrel of the airsoft gun when it is imported and sold by the store. Once the replica is purchased, the player can remove the red tip.

Airsoft without borders - summary

As you can see from our brief overview, in European countries playing airsoft and the purchase and possession of airsoft gun is as legal as possible, we just need to keep in mind the restrictions and limits that are locally in force. Airsoft is an extremely popular hobby in many European countries (and not only!) and the best time to exchange experiences is at international airsoft events and MilSims, where players from different countries meet and hand in hand participate in the game. This is what is most important in airsoft - having fun, competition and integration.

NOTE: we have made every effort to keep the knowledge contained in this article up to date, but keep in mind that the law is evolving all the time. Before purchasing an airsoft replica, always familiarize yourself with the current laws on airsoft replica ownership in your country and/or consult local authorities.

Show more entries from April 2024